What is a PEth Alcohol Test?
A PEth alcohol test is a blood specimen that is collected and analyzed and can detect direct bio-markers that remain in the bloodstream for up to three weeks after consumption. Typically, a PEth test would detect prolonged or heavy binge drinking, chronic alcohol use or abuse. A PEth test is often used in court ordered cases, probation, families or other scenarios where there are concerns about an individual remaining sober over an extended period of time.
Why would someone take a PEth test?
As you consume alcohol (ethanol), the body creates bio-markers called phosphatidylehanol (PEth) which indicate previous alcohol consumption. Once the alcohol has been processed by the body, PEth remains in the bloodstream. The average look back period (detection window) is approximately 2-3 weeks, however, the more alcohol that is consumed may impact the detection window.
A PEth test does not show results for a light/casual drinker. For example if someone has a couple of drinks within the past few weeks, the result will likely come back negative. Individuals wishing to detect alcohol for a shorter period of time or consumption rates should utilize a urine based alcohol test. It is important to note that with all types of drug testing, body weight, metabolism, frequency and number of drinks and the severity of the binge drinking plays a role in how long PEth can be detected.
Does PEth Detect if someone is intoxicated?
Unfortunately no, a PEth test is not intended to measure levels of impairment or intoxication. If someone requires an alcohol test that can measure impairment levels, a breath alcohol test or blood alcohol test would be recommended.
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